This content is sponsored by Primark

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This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.

7 tips to make your exercise routine work harder for you

A good exercise routine takes more than hard work and persistence. You need to do your homework, get to know your body, and dress for success with the right gear from Primark.

Don’t jump on that stationary bike just yet. Or that treadmill. And definitely don’t even pick up those weights. Before you begin getting into the heat of a new exercise routine, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your body, how you sweat, and which exercises will make sure you and your body are prepared for a successful new lifestyle.

To help you gain the confidence to tackle a new routine or amp up a favorite regimen, the tips below span the lifecycle of a fitness journey—from what to learn before you burn to how to approach trying something new. Plus, find out how to elevate your exercise routine with the right workout wear using affordable fashions from Primark, the four-story retailer at the heart of Downtown Crossing.

Find it at Primark: Seam-free workout bra $6, running lace leggings $15, high support workout bra $10, grey marl jogger $9, baseball cap $2.50, sport mesh bra $13, perforated workout leggings $15

Before strength, gain knowledge

Record your measurements and current weight, snap some before photos, and do a quick fitness assessment to learn your limits. All of this will help you set realistic, attainable goals that will give you something to work toward while you’re working out.

Next, head over to YouTube or find a fitness magazine and look for videos and articles about proper exercise techniques. Or, better yet, make an appointment with a personal trainer to get expert advice. This is a very important, oft-overlooked step—and you can really hurt yourself if you don’t run through any routine properly. Knowing the correct positions, stretches, techniques, and moves for a given exercise can prevent pulled muscles, sore joints, or worse.


Dress the part

Find it at Primark: Active slim-fit joggers $12, active tee in red camo $4.5, textured lace-up mid-top sneakers $18

You’re going to sweat so you can wear any old cotton t-shirt to the gym, right? Wrong. What you wear when exercising matters. The clothes you wear need to be able to handle the degree of movements you put your body through, as well as all that glorious sweat pouring off your body. The wrong clothes can weigh you down—quite literally— and also cause uncomfortable chafing in all the wrong places.

Primark has a whole new line of workout wear perfectly suited for sweat. You’ll find sports bras, athletic cut shorts, and tight-fit ankle-length leggings for women and 2-in-1 shorts and sport t-shirts for men—all with sweat-resistant, quick-dry technology and all for under $10. There’s also zip hoodies, joggers, and windbreakers to look stylish outside the gym. The wrong clothes can weigh down your body, but the right clothes shouldn’t weigh down your wallet.

Warm up. Cool down.

Fitness 101: Prepare your body for the intensity ahead and give it ample time to recover. For warm-ups, do just that: warm your muscles to loosen them and make them more willing to do what you want them to do while exercising. Stretching increases your body temperature, heart rate, and blood circulation as well as helps lengthen tight, overactive muscles. Your body will gradually become more nimble and your chances of injury will decrease tremendously.

Cooling down after a workout allows you to catch your breath, return to a normal resting heart rate, and start the muscle-recovery process. Easing out of—and into—an exercise can reduce the overall stress your body has to manage during a routine and increase your overall athletic performance as a result.


Try something new

American author Neale Donald Walsch once said: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” This applies to so many things, but it’s especially apt for exercising. Trying new exercises or classes not only keeps your fitness routine interesting, but it also keeps your body guessing, which helps ensure it doesn’t get accustomed to repetition, leading to a dreaded plateau.

Always wanted to try a Zumba class? Take one! Curious to see what this whole spin cycling craze is about? Lace up! Want to see if you can hold your own in a boxing ring? Get ready to rumble!

Find it at Primark: White performance tee $6, black reflective tee $9, shorts $9, long-sleeve reflective sports top $16, leggings $14.

Pace yourself

During your exercise journey, channel the fabled turtle and remember that slow and steady always wins the race. We all want to be a master as soon as possible, but the more time you give yourself and your body to build strength and endurance and to learn correct form, the better an athlete you’ll be down the road.

While an exercise may seem easy at first (or not), start at the beginner level and take a couple weeks to let your body adjust to a new routine. From there, add weight, time, or intensity little by little and always allow time for your body to adjust to what’s new to help prevent injury. In a few months, you’ll be using those beginner level workouts as your warm-ups and look back at your steady progress with pride.


Don’t always go it alone

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Exercise can be a lonely endeavor, and that’s how some people prefer it: solitary jogs along the Esplanade, headphone-enabled dumbbell sessions, at-home yoga between you and your favorite YouTube trainer. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Exercising with a partner can make it more fun and help hold you accountable. You’re less likely to skip a workout if you know others are counting on you being there with them. If not for yourself, do it for your friends!

Accessorize accordingly

Successful exercise routines take a little more than willpower and moisture-resistant spandex. Like the best artwork, it’s all in the details. For great exercise accessories, browse Primark while you’re on the hunt for workout wear and find all the add-ons and extras every good fitness guru shouldn’t do without.

Grab hats specially designed to cover sweaty heads, socks of all colors that compliment the many designs of affordable sneakers, and pick up a water bottle in your favorite color. Find athletic fingerless gloves for your next ride on the stationary bike and grab a sleek sport backpacks to keep it all together.

This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.